The Outcome If the Case of Buck V. Bell Were Argued Today

My understanding is that Bell would not have prevailed if Buck v. Bell were to be decided today, and proper inmate sterilization would have been allowed. It appears that the Buck v. Bell case, decided in 1927, prohibited the sterilization of inmates of public prisons and institutions, even if their condition was verified to be one of imbecility, epilepsy, or both. The decision was intended to prevent the spread of undesirable characteristics and features in society because these characteristics and traits were believed to be inherited and hereditary. (Bergdorf, 1976). Thus, if this similar case was to be argued today, these tips can be against proper sterilization:

Media Attention

Such a case can get universal exposure and publicity due to the reach of the media these days, creating awareness to the human rights groups that can gang against the supporters of sterilization. The attention of the media was absent when this case was argued for the first time.

Authenticity of Claim

The case was based on the idea that Buck was a moral aberrant and feebleminded. Nevertheless, there was no enough legitimate proof. Apparently, Lombardo the historian established that Based on school reports of Buck and her daughter, it cannot be concluded that there was evidence of indecisive; instead, they had sufficient adequate grades (Bergdorf, 1976). In addition, the genetic nature of slowness, delinquency, and feeblemindedness is uncertain and rejects the idea that personal choices and development makes a big difference.


Another high ethical issue present in this case is the issue against eugenics. For instance, is it moral or ethical to refute a person the right to father children? Additionally, how do people decide the quantitative measure available for sterilization? It is apparent that the ethics of choice is under conflict and if the case were argued today, human rights activists would join against this decision.

Measurable Characteristics

Moral felony and feeblemindedness are qualitative, and individuals require quantitative terms that do not exist to evaluate these traits. For this reason, the case of Bell vs. Buck there was no such parameters considered and measured. Consequently, if the case was argued today, I firmly believe that the case could have.

Sutherland's Differential Association Theory to the Prison Subculture

Sutherland's theory of differential association theory deals with how individuals become skilled at acquiring and learning how to commit crimes and why they choose to act on that learning. In fact, Sutherland argues that this theory is viewed as overtly on the scrutiny and surveillance footage while some of the subculture elements of the prison are incidental. For instance, one of the things that Sutherland states is that individuals learn the bolts and nuts of committing crimes from other people (Akers, 2013). Sutherland says that most of the learning process is done in communication with individuals who are part the secret group. In this case, the learning process is evident as one prisoner is advising or instructing another inmate to commit a crime. Even though we do not know this for real, it is at some point sensible to imagine that the two prisoners are the same intimate group. Therefore, inmates likely seek out for groups such as gangs to have a feeling of belonging and for protection. Apparently, individuals who are a similar group are viewed as intimates.

From this theory, we learn that Sutherland argues that people learn thoughts and attitudes towards law breaking and crime from their relations and interactions with others. Individuals who continue to commit crimes often do so because they discover inspirations for justifications of offense. These people internalize these thoughts until they are ready and willing to commit the crimes (Akers, 2013). A process is not seen happening in the video tape. Consequently, to understand if the process was going on, people would require an audio to hear if the two inmates were talking concerning thoughts and Attitudes towards crime, for us to know how the learning prisoner was responding to thoughts and beliefs he was listening and hearing about. Conversely, even without the surveillance footage, people can confirm that the learning process is taking place. As the prisoners are assembled with their intimate friends for an extended period, which is apparent that it is at this point that inmates share their attitudes. For this reason, it is evident that the attitudes of the prisoners are very negative towards law and enforcement of law. From the video, one inmate is seen learning how to carry out offenses and crimes. Thus people can presume that the culture of prison teaches inmates attitudes, which permit them to commit crimes, but it is not clear or seen how this process occurs. Consequently, the two kinds of learning that Sutherland argues in the theory of differential association are significantly part of the prison subculture.

The Four Forms of Feminist Criminology

The universal perception of feminism refers to as the principle and belief that women and men deserve equality in all social rights, opportunities, treatment, and respect. Apparently, feminists are individuals who try to admit and recognize social inequality founded on gender and stop purpose to stop it from happening (Naffine, 2014). For instance, feminists highlight that in the majority of cultures all through history, men have had more opportunities that women. Although the idea of feminism appears to be simple, most people misunderstand what the purpose of feminism is. For instance, several individuals assume that all feminists are pungent and angry women whose aim is to conquer men. Here are the four forms of feminist criminology:

Radical Feminism

Radical feminism refers to a movement of feminist, which believes prejudice or sexism is rooted deeply in the society, and the only cure is to eradicate the perception or concept of gender. Apparently, the theory of radical feminists focuses on presenting women as casualties of crime. It argues that inequality of gender is the greatest cause of oppression in society (Naffine, 2014). Additionally, this theory argues that social establishments are controlled and governed by the justice system.

Cultural Feminism

Cultural feminism theory refers to a movement, which highlights how current and modern society is wounded by motivating the masculine behavior. However, it is evident that society would significantly prosper and benefit through stimulating and encouraging the feminine behavior.

Liberal Feminism

The liberal feminism is a movement that centers on the ability of women to preserve and maintain their equality through their choices, behaviors, and actions. Apparently, the purpose of liberal feminism is in the public sphere such as in better working conditions, ending sex segregation, and equal access to education (Naffine, 2014). Additionally, the theory argues that the equality can only be attained through legal changes.

Socialist Feminism

The socialist feminism is less extreme, but it calls for significant social change. It refers to a movement that demands an end to capitalism using the socialist reformation of an economy. The theory argues that capitalism supports and strengthens the sexist status of men, as they are the ones with money and power. Thus, the socialist feminism concentrates on politics and economics (Naffine, 2014). For instance, this theory assumes that men are more ready to share their money and power with other men, which makes women have fewer resources and opportunities.


Akers, R. L. (2013). Criminological Theories: Introduction and Evaluation. Routledge.

Bergdorf Jr. R. (1976). The wicked witch is almost dead: Buck v. Bell and the sterilization of disabled persons. Temp. LQ, 50, 995.

Naffine, N. (2014). Feminism and Criminology. John Wiley & Sons.

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